Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
March 29
Can You Guess?
The singing group Chanticleer recorded Augusta Read Thomas's Love is a Beautiful Dream.  The group takes its name from a character in Chaucer's story The Nun's Priest's Tale. Can You Guess what kind of animal Chanticleer is?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
1795 - First concert appearance by Beethoven, at the Vienna Burgtheater. Introduced his first Piano Concerto actually Piano Concerto No. 2 in Bb with Beethoven as soloist. The concerto was written and premiered before his Piano Concerto No. 1 in C, which was published first.

1836 - Premiere of Richard Wagner's opera Das Liebesverbot (The Ban on Love). Based on Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure.

1874 - Premiere of Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 3 in Eb.

1882 - Premiere of Alexander Glazunov's first symphony.  He was 16 years old.

1902 - Sir William Turner Walton, English composer, was born.

1906 - E. Power Biggs, English organist, was born.  (Sound Samples at Amazon)

1945 - Sentimental Journey, by the Les Brown Orchestra, was released.

1969 - Hair, by the Cowsills, was released.

2000 - Premiere of Bright Sheng's String Quartet No. 4. Shanghai String Quartet.

Did You Guess?
In Chaucer's story Chanticleer was a rooster.

Did You See the Color Clues?
March 29, 2003 marked the premiere of Augusta Read Thomas's Canticle Weaving for trombone and orchestra. Ralph Sauer was the soloist. Esa-Pekka Salonen conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Augusta Read Thomas, was born in 1964 in Glen Cove, New York,   Formerly an Associate Professor on the composition faculty at the Eastman School of Music, she became the Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1997 - 2006) and then Professor of Composition at the University of Chicago.
Augusta Read
1964 -
Thomas studied at Northwestern University, with Alan Stout and Bill Karlins; Yale University, with Jacob Druckman; and at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Six months after she gave up a full graduate scholarship at Yale University to pursue her work as a composer, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra contacted 23-year old Thomas asking to play Wind Dance, an orchestral piece she'd entered in a student competition before leaving Yale.  Ms. Thomas had already composed 20 symphonies (all of which had been read or performed), plus chamber and choral music, by the time the Philharmonic contacted her.

Thomas has now composed more than 400 works, but withdrew the majority of them from publication and performance including Wind Dance.

"I always want to put my best foot forward," she says. "I tend to like pieces that have perfect rhythm, perfect counterpoint and perfect orchestration it has to all be perfect.

"For my music, I like dazzling, passionate performances.

"My favorite moment in any piece of music is the moment of maximum risk and striving. Whether the venture is tiny or large, loud or soft, fragile or strong, passionate, erratic, ordinary or eccentric! Maybe another way to say this is the moment of exquisite humanity and raw soul. All art that I cherish has an element of love and recklessness and desperation. I like music that is alive and jumps off the page and out of the instrument as if something big is at stake and I like my players to perform with this spirit. Have an excellent technical command of the music and then play it from the heart like a solo cadenza!"

As composer in residence, Ms. Thomas not only writes music for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, but reviews scores sent to the orchestra by other composers, recommending deserving pieces for performance.

Thomas has received many awards and prizes from such groups as ASCAP, BMI, the National Endowment for the Arts (1994, 1992, 1988), the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (2001, 1994, 1989), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Koussevitzky Foundation (1999), the New York Foundation for the Arts (1998) and many, many others.
A Great Refrigerator Magnet
violin mug - quote augusta read thomas
Chanticleer -- Love is a Beautiful Dream, Thomas
Includes Augusta Read Thomas's
Love is a Beautiful Dream
Violin Mug With Quote from
Augusta Read Thomas
"Bravo to those of us who understand
that old music needs new music
and new music needs old music."
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